Taylor Swift will kick off the UK leg of her Eras tour in Edinburgh in June, before performing in Liverpool, Cardiff, and London. Image Credit: Paolo Villanueva via Flickr

Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is arriving in the UK with a promise of not only electrifying concerts but also of an economic boost of almost £1 billion, according to estimates by Barclays Bank

The singer is set to kick off the UK leg of her Eras Tour on June 7 with three nights at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium. She will then take her show on the road, hitting Liverpool and Cardiff before returning to London in August for a final set of five dates. 

The Barclays reports Swiftonomics predicted that fans were likely to spend an average of £848 each on tickets, travel, accommodation, outfits, and other expenses.

Based on the total spent by nearly 1.2m ticket-holders, across 15 nights at four stadiums, Barclays predicted that the tour will rake in £997m. 

Tom Corbett, head of group sponsorship for Barclays, said that the tour will substantially boost the UK’s experience economy, including its retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.

“Fans are increasingly going all-out on experiences that resonate on a personal level, turning every concert into a potential holiday, every ticket into a cherished memory, and every event into an opportunity to splash out on new outfits, food, and merchandise,” he said. 

Gold Rush

Fran said that her favourite part has been choosing her outfit for the concert. Image Credit: Fran Millett

Fran Millett, 24, from Derby has been a Swiftie – as Taylor Swift fans are known – for more than 10 years and is excited to see the singer live for the first time. Fran is attending Liverpool’s concert and expects to spend £300 on the ticket, outfit, and merchandise. 

“It’s not just a concert, it’s a full production with outfit changes, backing dancers, a long setlist, and surprise songs. So, I believe that the audience will definitely get their money’s worth,” Fran says.

Barclays’ report, based on customers’ transactions and consumer research on spending trends around the popstar, said the average amount spent on an Eras Tour ticket was £206.

After tickets, fans will spend around £121 on accommodation and £111 on travel costs. 

Fans will also pay out an average of £56 for their outfits, £59 for a pre-concert meal, and £79 for official merchandise at the tour stops. 

It’s not the first time James will see Taylor Swift live. Back in 2018, he attended the singer’s Reputation Tour. Image Credit: James Arundel

James Arundel, 20, from Driffield says he is going for the official merchandise. The student has spent around £400 on attending the concert and explains that he doesn’t mind the prices of the official merchandise.  

“It is quite expensive, but it’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life, and I will not get bored of it.”

Despite these predictions on how much Swifties are willing to spend to attend the tour, some fans are focused on staying on a budget. 

Erin is attending the concert in London and is trying to keep the whole experience on a budget. Image Credit: Erin Verlaque

 

Erin Verlaque, 22, is attending the concert in London in August alongside her friends and is trying to keep to a budget for the whole experience. Aside from the tickets – which cost £130 – she is also spending money on travel, food, and complementary details for her outfit. But she is not planning on buying official merchandise. 

“When I was younger and attended concerts, I felt like I had to buy the merch to prove my love for them. Now, I am trying to be more responsible with my money, so I don’t believe I will spend it on official merchandise,” Erin says.

Blank Space 

However, even if the £1 billion boost is taken at face value, some specialists are sceptical about whether Swift will be a one-woman economic miracle to the UK. The question implies that regardless of whether the fans spend all this money, it cannot all be counted as a boost to the economy. 

Tim Harford, host of the BBC podcast More or Less, alongside journalist Ellie House, discussed the figures put forward by Barclays Bank and explained why the report may be ‘overreacting’. 

Professor Simon Shibli from Sheffield Hallam University, who has developed a methodology called Event Impacts, explained to the hosts that most people who will attend the concert will be from the UK, and consequently, they will be spending money that originated in the country. 

“Those people would spend that money anyway on either going out for a meal or drink, a weekend break, holiday clothing, or something else. And we call this deadweight. So from this perspective, most of the expenditure is deadweight,” Professor Shibli said. 

Professor Shibli added that there will be a redistribution effect as people come to the various venues and spend their money in their host locations.

However, he also explained, “from the perspective of the UK, most of the money which is spent will end up being expatriated to America, which is where Taylor Swift and her business is based.”

Call It What You Want

Even if the economy does not boom as much as predicted by Barclays, it’s undeniable that fans are willing to spend whatever they can to turn this into a complete Swiftie experience.

Cara bought the tickets as a birthday gift for her dad, who is a Swiftie. Image Credit: Cara O’Sullivan

Cara O’Sullivan, 22, is travelling from Luxembourg to the UK just for the concert. She is attending one in London in August but has already gone to The Eras Tour in Paris with her father. In total, both spent £1,200 attending the Parisian concert. 

But, for Cara, the money spent on the three-hour concert was well spent. She said that the performance stood out in every way.   

“It was amazing! The production level is so incredible, with an insanely theatrical background. Everything was so well-oiled and well-performed that I don’t even know how to describe it. And besides that, the atmosphere was so good. You could see everyone was having a good time.”

Doing it all over again in August, Cara expects to spend at least £500 on her second experience. She said that even if she now knows what to expect from the concert, she is still really excited for the day to come.

Dr Peter Brooks, chief behavioural scientist at Barclays, said that there is growing evidence that spending on experiences boosts happiness and wellbeing. 

“When it comes to cultural icons like Taylor Swift, supporters have such a strong connection to the artist and the rest of the fandom that the desire to spend becomes even more powerful. For non-fans, £848 may seem like an enormous amount to splash out on a concert – but for Eras Tour ticket holders, every pound they spend is an investment in the memories they’ll create,” Brooks said.